From the ground up: Noelridge adds new educational garden

All America Selections Butterfly and Vegetable Garden is in conjunction with the Blue Zones Project

Published: March 16 2014 | 7:00 am - Updated: 1 April 2014 | 9:41 am in

Local and area gardeners are going to have a new garden to visit this coming season. There is a new parks project underway that will be unfolding throughout 2014 and beyond. The new garden project is the All America Selections garden at Noelridge Park. This project will be a terrific opportunity to visit throughout the growing season as it will change each time you visit, I’m sure. Here’s the info:

The City of Cedar Rapids’ Noelridge Park and Greenhouse is pleased to announce the creative development of an All America Selections Butterfly and Vegetable Garden in conjunction with the Blue Zones Project. The garden will incorporate all of the All America Selections winning plants for the past five years, planted and displayed in two garden beds. Friends of Noelridge volunteers will design the project and oversee the organizational effort. They also will be mentoring Goodwill clients, who will plant and maintain the beds.

Linn County Master Gardeners will hold open informational seminars during the growing season to show off the gardens and answers questions. These will be held in conjunction with other local events:

  • July 9, 5:30 to 6:45 p.m. — Municipal Band Concert/Farmers Market
  • Aug. 21, 5:30 to 6:45 p.m. — Jazz Under the Stars
  • Sept. 7, 10 to 11:30 a.m. and 1 to 2:30 p.m. — Fall Flower Show

There will be information on the All America Selections winners, native plants and butterflies that will visit. The Linn County Master Gardeners also maintain an herb garden at Noelridge Park. There will Master Gardeners available at that garden to answer questions and provide information on the various herbs grown at their Noelridge bed.

A unique and exciting aspect of this new All America Selections garden will be the willow artwork and containers that will be incorporated in the beds. Lindsay Lee is a well-known willow artist and owner of Willowglen Nursery in Decorah with his wife, Lee Zieke. Lee is donating his design and creative expertise along with Mary Kopecky, a local willow artist and student of Lee. Both Wickiup Hill Learning Center and Indian Creek Nature Center have contributed the native willow that will be used in creating the pieces.

On Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. all three will conduct a Willow Weaving demonstration at Noelridge Park while Friends of Noelridge volunteers construct large willow flutes in the bed. They will be available to answer questions, so stop by.

For more information on all the events connected to Noelridge Greenhouse in 2014,

visit the Friends of Noelridge website at

Becki Lynch is a Linn County Master Gardener.

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